EFCC commences probe on N500m Chibok safe school funds

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun a probe on the N500 million Safe School funds for Chibok girls.

The probe by the anti-graft agency followed a petition dated December 27, 2016 sent to its Chair Ibrahim Magu by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

In a statement on Monday disclosed by SERAP’s senior staff attorney Timothy Adewale, the advocacy group confirmed that the EFCC is looking into the petition requesting the anticorruption body to “urgently begin a thorough, transparent and effective investigation into allegation that N500 million Safe School funds for Chibok girls, commissioned by former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to rebuild the Government Girls School in Chibok, is missing and cannot be accounted for.”

Adewale said, “We have received confirmation from the EFCC that the body is looking into our petition. The EFCC has also expressed its determination to diligently investigate the allegation of the missing N500 million Safe School funds for Chibok girls, and sought additional information from SERAP.

“SERAP appreciates the prompt attention the EFCC has given to the matter, and our organization is committed to sending to the EFCC additional information including any available documentary evidence in our possession in order to enable the anticorruption body to get to the root of the matter, identify suspected perpetrators and bring them to justice, as well as recover any missing funds.”

It would be recalled that SERAP had in its petition urged the EFCC to “invite for questioning, and name and shame anyone suspected to be involved in the alleged diversion, including the contractors allegedly handling the project.”

The petition reads in part, “The allegation that N500m has been lost to corruption has resulted in denying the girls access to education, and shows the failure of the former President Goodluck Jonathan government to live up to Nigeria’s commitments under the global Safe School Declaration.

“SERAP believes that the diversion of the funds will expose the school to attacks in the future. This is a fundamental breach of the country’s obligations including guarantees of non-repetition, which contribute to prevention and deterrence of future attacks.”

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